Deals Close as Supernova Reveals $US 130 Million Annual Profit
LONDON, Feb. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Supernova Capital ("Supernova") the London-based private equity firm founded and run by gaming mogul Paul Wedgwood, has bolstered its impressive holdings in the gaming space, announcing today the acquisitions of prized game developers Mi-Clos and Little Red Dog Games. The deals give Supernova Capital 100% ownership of both studios and popular IP such 'Out There,' and 'Rogue State,' respectively. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Mi-Clos, the celebrated, award-winning French studio is responsible for marquee gaming brands 'Out There', 'Sigma Theory' and 'Space Disorder.' Focused on non-violent, narrative games with a unique art style, Mi-Clos is well-established as a center of excellence for the development of interactive entertainment, boasting a number of successful gaming studios and a large ecosystem.
New York based Little Red Dog Games is best known for the recent 'Rogue State Revolution' and, previously, 'Rogue State', 'Precipice' and 'Deep Sixed gaming brands'. The company is run by CEO Ryan Hewer.
With an additional multi-million investment now in place, both studios have embarked upon ambitious plans to grow significantly, and an announcement will be made setting out their plans in the near future.
Both developers have deals in place with Modern Wolf, a publisher of independent strategy games that is fully owned by Supernova Capital. Modern Wolf's integral role in building these relationships was hailed by the leadership teams as "the genesis" for both deals.
Supernova Capital CEO Paul Wedgwood said: "What can feel like 'selling your baby' can actually be traumatic for founders. I sold my own studio after almost twenty years, so I have real empathy for the management teams. It also qualifies us to judge, and I have been super-impressed—with the amazing quality of their games, and the highly capable teams they have both built. As we welcome them into the Supernova family, I am excited to also introduce them to our learning faculty, The Academy. Built from our own successes in the industry, it is our proven program of workshops, mentoring, tools and processes, that were also instrumental in transforming our former company Flying Wild Hogs into the industry leader they are today. I believe we will achieve great things together and I'm excited for the new opportunities our partnerships will bring."
Michael Peiffert CEO, Mi-Clos Studio, said: "This is an emotional moment for me. We started as a one man studio back in 2010, and have grown organically ever since. The new partnership we have with Supernova is a genuine win-win for us both. It will empower us to continue developing existing IPs and new ones from our unique creative vision on an even larger scale. We'll also be able to hire more talent while continuing to develop our great work environment. This partnership sets the stage for some exciting new developments. Watch this space!"
Ryan Hewer CEO, Little Red Dog Games, said: "I've previously worked in international diplomacy, nuclear counterproliferation and in education. In all those cases, how I view and explain the world around us is fused with idiosyncratic wit and humor that also happens to find a home in the videogames I wanted to make and play. Joining Supernova realized a life-long dream to take on bigger and more ambitious projects with our unique style, and Supernova was the perfect fit for us. We are incredibly excited to show off what we've been able to accomplish with the guidance and support of their experienced mentors."
The acquisition deals close as Supernova Capital announced profit for the financial year 2021 of US$130 million, in just its fourth year of trading. Supernova's impressive earnings were primarily driven by key commercial activity, including the sale of Flying Wild Hog Studios and investment in indie publisher Modern Wolf. Supernova also acquired the Insomnia Gaming Festival, with the latest edition drawing record attendance of 35,000+), and just last month launched the film production company Entropy Pictures, which is run by Wedgwood and director/writer Eddie Alcazar.
Commenting on the company's financial performance, Wedgwood said: "Our first priority is to create tangible value for the management teams we acquire. The results are consistent. First at Splash Damage as the management team, and again at Flying Wild Hog working with their management teams. We dramatically improved bottom lines—from the orbit of loss-making to multi million cash profits in both cases, record staff and stakeholder happiness and exits totaling north of $200 million—all achieved in under three years each."
Prospects are bright for continuing this success under the helm of Supernova's new CFO, Chris Sharp. Sharp commented, "These financial results demonstrate the robustness of the video games industry, and Supernova's deep understanding of it. With new acquisitions and continued growth on the horizon, Supernova is uniquely positioned to continue to succeed in this market."
Supernova's Chief People Office Peter Lewis added, "Without giving away our secret sauce, we broadly achieve this by teaching new acquisitions to prioritize staff happiness; we help studio leadership define its purpose, codify its values, and figure out what's really important and how to significantly increase the chances of achieving it. We teach, coach, mentor and run workshops within The Academy - a repository of decades of entertainment industry tools and processes—turning around or amplifying the prospects of an acquired studio's management team, its products, or indeed the entire company, and then ensuring they are really well rewarded and credited for their success."
About Supernova Capital:
Supernova Capital is a private equity firm focused on realizing the untapped potential of independent game development studios and their IPs across the globe since 2017. Its co- founders Paul Wedgwood, Mark Morris and Richard Jolly were the key forces behind award-winning London-based studio, Splash Damage which they exited in 2016 the trio has dozens of #1 hit games to their names and hundreds of awards and nominations. As such, Supernova draws upon decades of experience and industry credibility in the 'AAA' game development space and beyond. Supernova seeks to create a network of talented, independent creators, offering them the capital and high level support necessary to establish long-term stability in an unpredictable industry, all while allowing them to maintain their creative freedom and independence.
About Paul Wedgwood
Paul Wedgwood is one of the most prolific personalities and successful entrepreneurs in the gaming industry – known for being one of the world's first eSports television presenters and commentators with his own TV shows, then as the owner, co-founder, and chief executive of the hit video game developer Splash Damage, and now as Managing Partner of Supernova Capital LLP.
Wedgwood's obsession with games started in the late 90s as Leader for team Clan EarthQuakers, winning multiple national UK tournaments in Team Fortress.
Wedgwood simultaneously became one of the world's first eSports television presenters and commentators, with his TV shows 'Lock n Load' and 'Quake Republic', filming over 300 episodes for two years, completely dedicated to online multiplayer video games.
Wedgwood would reach even new professional heights when he launched the blockbuster video game developer Splash Damage in 2001. While under Wedgwood's leadership as sole owner, co-founder, and chief executive, Wedgwood raised over $100 million as Producer from major US and Chinese publishers, and Splash Damage developed eight #1 hits in the WOLFENSTEIN, DOOM, QUAKE, BATMAN ARKHAM, GEARS OF WAR and DIRTY BOMB universes.
Wedgwood sold Splash Damage in a cash deal worth over $70 million to Hong Kong-listed company Leyou in 2017. After 16 years at the helm, Wedgwood stepped away from Splash Damage and founded investment firm Supernova Capital LLP, and made the his first acquisition buying the studio Flying Wild Hog, the acclaimed developer behind the Shadow Warrior series of games. Wedgwood grew Flying Wild
Hog from near bankruptsy and 90 staff, to more than 275 staff in three cities, with a cash profit ix excess of $10m per anum, in under three years. Wedgwood sold Flying Wild Hog in a deal to Embracer for $137 million in 2019. He has since acquired Little Red Dog in New York, Mi-Clos in Lyon France, the Insomnia Gaming Festival in Birmingham, UK, and founded publisher Modern Wolf in London.
Wedgwood's titles and businesses have garnered over 300 awards and nominations, including several Game of the Year, Best Developer of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year awards, before achieving the highly-coveted Sunday Times Top 100 Best Company award for exceptional staff morale in 2017 - the first AAA games studio to ever do so.
In January 2023, Wedgwood teamed with award-winning director/writer Eddie Alcazar to launch the independent film production company Entropy Pictures.